Dan's Legislation "reboots consumer rights for the digital age"

Improving trust in online reviews, clamping down on ticket touts and publishing the methodology behind price comparison websites sites are key elements of new consumer protection rules approved by MEPs today.

The legislation has been piloted through the European Parliament by West Midlands MEP Daniel Dalton, who said his report "reboots consumer rights in Europe for the internet age." 

He told the European Parliament: "I am a strong believer in the power of the informed consumer. The online world contains a wealth of information that can empower people, but it needs to be genuine to be useful.

"Our measures on will make sure that online consumers know they are getting information they can rely on. These rules will make a real difference to consumers' everyday life. They matter."

The legislation will increase the transparency of online reviews by forcing sites to reveal what criteria they use to ensure reviews are real and unbiased. Price comparison platforms must make clear the calculations they use to rank different products.

The report also tackles the purchase of concert and event tickets by automated computer programmes and then resold at an inflated price. Mr Dalton said: "This practice leaves real fans unable to see their favourite team or artist, or forced to pay touts many times the face value. It's cheating everybody and it's right that we ban it."

On the controversial issue of dual quality foods – the practice of identically branded products being produced to different recipes from country to country – the new regulations demand that consumers are made aware that the contents may differ, depending where the item is sold. The practice will only be permitted if there is a legitimate reason for the differences, such as the local availability of ingredients or different national legislation.

A new European Consumer Rights App will be created to provide a single source of advice and dispute resolution for consumers across the EU.